Steps in Renting a Hong Kong Holiday Apartment

Search for a Holiday Apartment
You may want to consider the following criteria when searching for your Hong Kong holiday apartment availability date, suitability for families, Internet access, apartment size and pets/smoking rules. For Hong Kong apartments you especially want to keep an eye out on size. Remember real estate in Hong Kong is among the most expensive in the world so don’t have expectations of similar sized apartments as you are used to in the West unless you are willing to pay ridiculous prices! A 2 bedroom apartment in Hong Kong is typically 40 square metres, if you find one that’s 50 square metres or above you’re doing well!

Use one of the many online holiday apartment websites to search and find a holiday apartment. It can be useful to firstly decide which area you want to stay in (by talking to friends / family or browse the most popular rentals on the website) to narrow down your search. Remember to read the property reviews left by previous guests. They provide an unbiased opinion of the property and serve as a good sanity check on the accuracy of the advertisement. Specifically for Hong Kong apartments you can use tripadvisor they have a good listing of 7 apartments. You can also use Homelidays they have a section for Hong Kong apartments as well.

Hong Kong is generally not an online community so when making bookings make sure you follow up with the phone. Once you have found a selection of properties you are interested in, use the online form on the website to contact the owner directly. You should ensure your contact details are correct in order to receive a prompt response.

Decide if you want Insurance

As with any holiday you want to consider buying travel insurance to cover your flights and accommodation in the event of any unforseen circumstances. Insurance for travel in Asia is generally more expensive that the west, however Hong Kong given it’s been westernised is generally cheaper that other parts of Asia. For local HK insurance some companies like AIA offer a good deal.

Request, Review and Return the Rental Agreement

Once you have a tentative agreement with the owner, ask for a rental contract. By HK law if you are renting for over 3 months (even for holiday apartments) you want your rental contract stamped by the rental authority. This is because in the case of any dispute if the contract is not stamped then you may legally not enforce your rights. The contract will highlight your check in and check out dates, obligations on renting the holiday apartment and most importantly any cancellation and refund policies. You should review this contract carefully to make sure you are comfortable with the terms and keep a signed copy of the contract.

Book the Holiday Apartment

Generally Hong Kong holiday apartment owners will ask for deposit between 30-50% of the rental price to secure the booking. You want to check for the terms and conditions related the return of the deposit. The rental contract you reviewed in the previous step will contain the exact payment schedule. In most cases in Hong Kong, full payment is expected prior to check in date. Check with the owner on payment methods, most common is PayPal, followed by online bank transfer and credit cards. You can also ask to speak the person directly in HK to double ensure you are comfortable with what you are booking for. This is often a good check as their phone number should be a Hong Kong based on i.e. starts with country code +852

Important Details Before you Arrive

Before you go on your holiday you want to ensure you have the following details about the Hong Kong holiday apartment from the owner:

· Address of the apartment

· Keys to the property or a pre-arranged appointment with the owner on how to get them

· Owner’s contact details (a phone number or at least an email)

· Travel instructions to reach the apartment from the airport. When travelling to and from Hong Kong airport to your apartment, its best to use the airport express it’s the cheapest and most efficient way to travel to and from the airport.

It usually takes about 30 minutes from the airport to get into the City Central in HK so this is a good time to call the owner to give them a heads up on arrival.